Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 149

The Gifts Part 54

Prophecy continued...

Now that we’ve established who it is that can judge prophecy, we must likewise establish how it is that we judge prophecy, or more appropriately by what criterion. The first criterion which we must use in order to judge prophecy is that it be in harmony with the word of God. I cannot stress this enough, even though I’ve repeated it often, if a certain word of prophecy contradicts the scriptures, it is not of God no matter who might have uttered it.

God will not contradict His own word through prophecy, He will not tell us to do through prophecy something that He has told us not to do in the Bible. Although this truth is simple enough to grasp, although it is evident and self-explanatory I have seen individuals throughout my years in ministry, who out of a desire to circumvent the word of God sought out soothsayers that gave them license to do that which the word would not. When confronted with their sin, they would point to the soothsayer and say, ‘but such and such gave me a word that I could divorce my wife and marry my secretary, so it was divinely ordained.’

What it was, was a lie, a deception, a false word of prophecy that contradicted the Bible, and therefore was untruthful with no foundation in God. When we come upon certain scriptures that require a certain sacrifice of us, when we come upon certain scriptures that demand of us certain things that the flesh is reluctant to part with, our only option, the only course of action afforded to us is to submit the word of God even though the flesh might bristle. The worst thing we can do is attempt to find a loophole, or an understanding ‘prophet’ who will give us license wherein no license can be had.

Men who would give license to sin, men who would strengthen the hand of the wicked, men who would encourage others to continue in their sin and not turn back from their wickedness have always been present, and somehow have always wormed their way within the congregation of God. It is something that God plainly saw during the days of Jeremiah, as well as the days of Ezekiel, and in both instances God’s pronounced judgment was strict and absent ambiguity.

Jeremiah 23:14-15, “Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: They commit adultery and walk in lies; they also strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns back from his wickedness. All of them are like Sodom to Me, and her inhabitants lie Gomorrah. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: ‘Behold I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem profaneness has gone out into all the land.’”

If God’s people would be unaffected by these false prophets, if God’s people would recognize these words for what they are and reject them offhand, it would be one thing, and we would not need to spend so much time on this particular topic. The fact that many receive these false words however, the fact that many prefer them over the truth of scripture necessitates that we flesh this topic out and come to a right and true understanding of it.

Jeremiah 5:30-31, “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?”

This is the reason we can’t afford not to judge prophecy, this is the reason why we can’t afford not to know the word of God, because human nature gravitates toward those things which are pleasing to the flesh, it gravitates toward those things which widen the narrow path of faith, and if we grow indifferent, apathetic, or lose our focus concerning these matters, we will likewise fall into the snare of receiving and even loving those words that outright contradict the scriptures.

Although many today revel in unscriptural liberties, although many today honor those who would discount the word of God and proclaim that the path is wide, that God has changed, that repentance is no longer required and holiness was something practiced only by those living in biblical times, the question still remains, what will they do in the end?

What will they do when they stand before the eternal God of all? What will they do when they are confronted with their own rebellion and disobedience? What will they do when they will stand accused of trampling upon the blood of the only begotten Son of God?

For now they can continue deceiving and being deceived, for now they can continue soothing their burdened conscience with yet another ‘word’ that winks at their sin, and scoffs at those who would walk in righteousness and holiness unto God, but what will they do in the end?

This is the question that should be keeping many an individual up at night, this is the question that should be causing many an individual to reassess what they believe, who they believe, and why they believe it, because although we can have endless back and forth debates about whether or not God still require repentance, although we can have endless back and forth debates on whether or not God still demands sanctification of His children and that they live different than those of the world, one day all the squabbling will cease, and we will stand before an omniscient God who will not allow the twisting of His word, or the juvenile excuse of ‘this is just how I understood it, I did what was right in my own eyes.’

Today we might be able to get away with marginalizing Christ, with dismissing the word of God, with doubting God’s promises to His children, with living halfhearted and hypocritical lives, but what will we do in the end?

Proverbs 21:2, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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